A binder I know once told me that he has always wanted to bind James Joyce’s Ulysses, but didn’t know which edition or editions were suitable or affordable. I think I said I’d send him a list of editions. I’m almost positive I didn’t.
To make up for failing to fulfill a promise, I present this handy guide to editions of Ulysses:
- Paris: Shakespeare and Co, 1922. First edition. 1000 copies in three limitations (all bound in Aegean blue wraps):
- 100 were printed on Dutch handmade paper, numbered, and signed by Joyce
- 150 large paper copies numbered 101- 250, printed on Vergé d’Arches, not signed
- 750 were numbered 251-1000 and printed on a lesser grade of handmade paper, not signed
- London: Egoist Press, 1922. Purportedly first edition printed in England (except that it was actually printed in Dijon for UK distribution). Pirated edition. 2000 copies.
- New York: Roth, 1929. Except that it says no such thing on the title page. Pirated edition, unauthorized by Joyce. 2-3000 copies.
- Hamburg/Paris/Bologna: The Odyssey Press, 1932. First hardcover edition. Printed on India paper.
- New York: Random House, 1934
- New York: Limited Editions Club, 1935. Illustrated by Henri Matisse. 1500 copies:
- 250 signed by both Matisse and Joyce
- remaining 1250 signed only by Matisse
- London: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1936. First authorized edition printed in England, designed by Eric Gill. 1000 copies in two limitations:
- 100 copies on mould-made paper and bound in vellum, signed by Joyce
- 900 copies on japon vellum and bound in green buckram, not signed
So here’s the problem: all of these editions are rare and expensive. I’d go with Random House without dust jacket. That one is probably the easiest to find and least expensive.
Forget what I said about follow-the-flag. Joyce is an exception. He was Irish, but spent most of his time in Paris and Trieste.